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A rampant infection of "benchitis" has spread through my body. You might not have heard of this malicious disease but you'll probably recognize the symptoms. An infected individual comes in late, goes home early, sits for hours in front of the computer e-mailing friends, or makes comments such as, "If I have to run one more gel today I'm going to go crazy!"

It's been my experience that a postdoc needs to have a lot of self-motivation to succeed. So much rests on what we can accomplish on our own: the next paper, the next grant, the next job. And yet, as a self-selected group of inquisitive people, we seem particularly susceptible to being bored by the monotony of everyday tasks. Even the most enthusiastic of researchers can slip into a funk when experiments fail, a favorite piece of equipment goes on the fritz, or an experimental rut...

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